Terms like secret dating, private dating or secret romance refer to the concept of dating or romance between people who keep it private from others they might normally inform. It often overlaps with concepts like forbidden love (such as in affairs or disputes between families). It is presented in titles such as Secret Love.
Reasons for secret dating
Sexual orientation (LBGT)
Homosexual sex is a taboo is some regions of the world, including in most of Africa and Asia. It is therefore, not difficult to see people involved in secret dating with same sex partners in those regions of the world. An historian, Daniel Rivers threw light on how gay parents were in constant fear in the early 70s and 80s for fear of losing their children, in his book, “Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States since World War II. . 
Older women looking for young men
One of the factors that make people resort to secret dating is their age. Some women prefer to date younger men in their twenties. Because this is not a norm in their society, they may experiment with distance relationships. 
Disadvantages of secret dating
A major disadvantage of secret dating is the risk of being scammed. Given that the relationship is private, the people involved will keep details of the relationship to themselves. If the other party is fraudulent, it may take some time detect. If it is open, women tend to share details of their relationship with others. Majority of private dating take place on the internet. 
- John Tucker Must Die
- Pretty Little Liars: Ian Thomas with Alison DiLaurentis behind Melissa Hastings back, and Hanna Marin secretly dating Caleb Rivers
- Rebelde Way: Victoria Paz secretly dates Tomás Ezcurra behind Pablo Bustamante's back
- Daddy's Little Girl (novel)
- Late Marriage
- Night and Day (TV series): Alex Wells was secretly dating his daughter Della Wells' best friend Jane Harper
- Romeo and Juliet
- Cougar Town: Julia "Jules" Kiki Cobb-Ellis and Grayson Ellis keep their friends with benefits relationship secret
- Degrassi: The Next Generation: Peter Michael Stone secretly dates Emma Nelson and Darcy Edwards
- Flawless (book): Melissa finds out Spencer has been secretly dating her ex-boyfriend, Wren
- Friends: Monica Geller and Chandler Bing keep their relationship secret
- The Office: Erin and Pete date but keep their relationship secret from Andy Bernard, but Erin had already broken up with Andy
- Scandal (TV series): Liza Weil secretly dates Billy Chambers
- "Obama Fights Nigerian Anti-Gay Bill, Threatens To Cut Off Aid". Forbes (USA). 11 September 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "How Growing Up With A Mom In A Secret Lesbian Relationship Shaped My Life". HuffingtonPost (USA). 15 March 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Cougar World". Forbes (India). 29 September 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Dating Scams Flourish Online". CNN' (USA). 19 July 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
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